How to write and read Arabic: introduction

In the coming lessons, I will try to outline some basic steps that would make writing and reading Arabic easy. The first step of course is to go back and learn the Alphabets. So here what you should keep in mind:

Words in Arabic are built on “root” of 3 ( occasionally 4) consonants, which contains the basic idea underlying all the words made from the root. An example is the root K T B which has the basic idea of  writing. From this root Arabic makes the following:

  • Kataba means to write
  • Kaatib means writer
  • Maktub means written
  • Kitaba means the act of writing
  • Maktab means office
  • Kitaab means book
  • Maktaba  means library or bookshop.

The words may change but you still find the three root consonants. This is of enormous help. It means that if you know one Arabic word of a particular root, you can guess the meaning of an unknown word showing that root.

Here what you should keep in mind. May be you already know it but there you go.

  • Arabic is written from RIGHT to LEFT.
  • There are no capital letter
  • Short vowels like { a, i , u } are not written. We usually infer them from the context.
  • Printed Arabic is originally an imitation of hand writing.